Are you living the best of your potential?

6, March, 2012, by Seema Bhatnagar

woman jumping

"Live the best of your potential", is a tagline of Abundance Thinkers (see the top most part of any page of the site). My purpose is to spread this idea to maximum number of people so that people can live a more authentic and powerful life based on their own strengths and talents. Current post is inspired by this thought.

"The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good." -Brian Tracy

Do you really feel challenged in a day to day life?
Do you feel that your work uses all your strengths and talents?
Your most dominant thought is how to get everybody's approval or how to get appreciation from others?
Do you feel overly criticized when somebody suggest you to improve upon something?
Do you feel positive in general?
Do you feel excited about the growth opportunities in life?
Do you have a clear vision about what you expect from life?
If you find answering "NO" for most of the questions given above that indicates you are not sufficiently motivated in life and not using your strengths and talent optimally.

What does living the best of personal potential means?

Personal potential is that treasure which resides in each one of us but we fail to recognize it and keep living a life defined by others.

Living with the best of personal potential is when you have a complete knowledge about your natural talents, strengths and perfectly motivated to use them optimally. People who live with the best of personal potential live life more and are more successful in life. When you have a clear idea about your personal strengths and talents you increase your ability to make conscious choices and develop a pretty fair idea about where you can fail and where could be the rough terrain ahead.
Living fearlessly, without caring for external approvals, with abundant freedom, pursuing what you love, and creating personal definition of success, living a conscious life by making conscious choices, setting goals and achieving them consistently and persistently are some other qualities when it comes to living the best of personal potential.

If you think that it has to be something professional, where your potential should lie then you are mistaken, it can be any natural talent, like being a good speaker, being an excellent host, organizing events impeccably, it can be any small act in your daily life where you feel completely effortless while doing it. Do not lose the sight of it, any particular act could be your natural talent. You might feel hesitant in telling people about your natural talent if it is lacking in social prestige and power, but if this is something natural to you, that indicate your uniqueness and you must pay attention to hone it further. Sooner or later you will reach to excellence and will be able to create a space for yourself.
Living the best of potential does not mean an end of achieving the personal growth rather it means that you are perfectly aligned with your natural talents and sufficiently motivated to achieve success in life wherever you put your focus to.
Remember, there has been no measuring unit invented so far which can tell you if you are living the best of personal potential and absolutely there is no way to tell who is living with a best of personal potential, it is purely a feeling when you feel positive about life and seek challenges and opportunities to become better and better without expecting to reach to any endpoint.

The greatest crime in the world is not developing your potential. When you do what you do best, you are helping not only yourself, but the world. Roger Williams

Do you think your current job/business is using your full potential? If not, then you are not being fair with you and off course not with the society too. You are simply letting your potential and capabilities go waste when you can create a profound effect on this planet and can change people's life.

My Personal experience

We all attend school for good numbers of years in our life but there is no school which teaches us how to live the best of personal potential and above all no teacher encourages students that one must strive to live the best of personal potential. By making mistakes and learning we learn about how to do things in a right manner but while doing so it remains as a struggle to come over the surface rather than really achieving personal excellence. During my childhood, none of my teachers ever encouraged me to understand and discover my strengths and never shared an idea that I can be a unique individual in some way and I might have some talent which I can exercise effortlessly. The main focus used to be about completing the assignments/home work and preparing for exams and the end objective was to get the high scores to stand in top 10 of a class. So, more or less everybody in the class was doing the same thing but in different manners with the same end objective. The personal uniqueness of each student got lost somewhere and the whole focus came on passing the exams. Well, it is still the same in schools, hardly things have changed.

While in job, I am supposed to do what my organization want and how my boss want me to act and behave. The ultimate objective here is to earn enough money so that you can get married, have a family and can own home and blah blah things which are conventionally expected in society. Once again, the opportunity to understand personal uniqueness got lost with the end objective already set. The life continues in this pattern eternally, until some Godly power intervenes.
Honestly, I did not have the clear idea about my strengths when I joined my first job and nobody even bothered to ask me ever throughout my career. I found everybody is mindlessly task oriented with the end objective of successful delivery and what organization wants. None of my managers ever encouraged me to look for my uniqueness and during appraisals it used to be more about if deliveries were timely, if there was a good collaboration within team and if I did something extra in a project, if I learnt something new in the project, sadly, there was nothing which could direct me towards my uniqueness. Once again the end objective was already set, and that was to assess me for the right compensation for my skills but not uniqueness.

I always knew I wanted to become somebody when I grew up. Now I realize I should have been more specific.- Lily Tomlin

It was only my personal quest to know myself better and to think what is that uniqueness, talent and set of strengths which only I possess. Believe me, there was nobody who encouraged me except people who are into personal development and growth business and I am extremely grateful to these people who unknowingly inspired me for finding my uniqueness. Through this post , I am trying to do the same, probably somewhere, some reader might absorb the idea of uniqueness and will embark on his/her journey for discovering true treasure of uniqueness and probably that might change his/her whole life for a better.
With my sheer persistence and quest, at this moment, I am an individual who understands my uniqueness and absolutely comfortable being myself (a bit crazy might be..:-) sometimes). Now, I have realized that how I lived the life defined by others, controlled by others and I simply acted as a puppet from one drama to next. I did not even have half of the confidence what I have now. The confidence here is about the clarity of personal strengths, likes, dislikes, weaknesses, motivation, inspirations and vision about life.
Probably, I would have enjoyed my life for more number of years with my natural talents had somebody guided or mentored me in my childhood about discovering and living my potential.

How to live the best of your potential?

man contemplating

It's never too late to be what you might have been.- George Elliot

It does not matter how old or young you are, it is never too late to start your journey of discovering your true potential or hidden treasure. Following are some guidelines which can guide you in your journey towards achieving the best of personal potential. Pick up pen and paper and allocate some one hour to note down your thoughts given under each guideline below.

  1. Discover your natural talents
  2. This is something most important but hardest to achieve. Strengths are easier to understand as compared to natural talents. Strengths sometimes can be built by practising a particular skill but natural talent is something which you are naturally good at and your whole personality supports that particular quality.
    It can be as simple as striking good conversation with strangers, engaging everybody in a discussion, organizing any event, making an elevator pitch and there are countless many others. One of my close friends, she is very good at explaining the flavours and tastes of dishes and I find her a real connoisseur but somehow she is not able to recognize it.
    Do not feel hesitant while jotting down even if it sounds weird or whacky. You never know when you will discover the gem.

  3. Discover your strengths
  4. Probably, in the past you never thought about your strengths and mostly relied on your teachers and mentors, they might have given you some good idea about your strengths but you are the best judge for yourself.
    Think of all the achievements in your past, it can be at work or at home. Try to figure out if there was any pattern or commonality in all those achievements. For example, you conducted a meeting very well whenever you organized it, arranged a party at home where everybody felt attended and engaged. This reflects that you are good at organizing and facilitating and it could be your strength.
    Think and jot down your strengths which you feel relevant and more comfortable. Knowing your strengths is a core aspect of your potential, do not take this for granted and immerse yourself completely to understand.

  5. Develop your core values
  6. Having your own set of core values is one of the foundation stones for your personal growth. Once you define your core values, most of the times you are governed by those and feel easy while taking tough decisions. Your core values act as a navigator to drive you through the rough terrains of life. Read Power of Personal Values to get more insight.

  7. Overcome self-limiting beliefs
  8. If somebody comments that you are not there, you are stupid or crazy and cannot do blah blah thing and if you simply agreed and believed it then you have damaged your own confidence, you are not what others think of you, you are what you think of yourself. Do not believe in what others think about your capabilities. Make your own judgement in all such matters. You would feel more confident when encountering such situations if you have the right knowledge about your strengths and talents.

  9. Assess your life wheel
  10. Give a quick check about satisfaction level for each key area of life. You may do so by creating your life wheel. Read How well you are living your life right now? - The Life Wheel. You will get a good overall picture of your life and will get the direction where you need to put your focus and energy.

  11. Overcome negative emotions
  12. There are 3,600 seconds in an hour and 57,600 seconds in a normal 16-hour waking day. If we have one thought per second (much less than the brain's capacity), then we have about 60,000 thoughts in one day. What percentage of your 60,000 thoughts lead to positive emotions and what percentage to negative ones?
    If you have more of negative emotions, majority of your time will go unused and you will achieve less. The more of negative emotions means more stress, anger and aggression which will create impedance in exercising your strengths and talent. So, you must address the root cause of negativity and get rid of it. Addressing your negativity is like preparing a soil bed by removing the weeds to sow the seeds to grow.

  13. Define Life Vision
  14. Define a grand vision of your life, where exactly you want to reach in life and what are your expectations from self. Define your dreams and desires and add to your vision and imagine yourself achieving those. Imagine yourself, what you would be doing in next 10 years and how confident and strong you would be then. Without a vision, you are living somebody's script of life.

  15. Avoid negative people
  16. "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." - E. James Rohn
    If you are surrounded with negative people at home and work, who constantly criticise you for your flaws and leave no chance of making scathing remarks then it is quite likely that you would not be a positive person, which means most of your time will go in handling negativity than in enhancing your creativity and positivity. If possible, try to get rid of such people from your environment but if it is not possible than avoid having much contact with them.

  17. Be a good learner
  18. Learning has no age and our whole life is a learning, each and every life experience is a learning. Learn from your mistakes and wherever you get an opportunity to learn something new, learn it quickly, does not matter who is teaching you, somebody elder or younger to you.
    In today's age of technology, learning has become so convenient and is available at a click. Use internet to maximize your learning, subscribe to newsletters of good informative sites, blogs which are relevant to your work, participate in forums and discussions to share and gain knowledge. Attend training and workshops happening in your local area and invest money on your learning and knowledge.

  19. Be open for criticism
  20. Not all criticisms are bad, in fact some amount of healthy criticism is good for our health. Seek people who are experienced in your field and have good understanding of your strengths and talents, only such people can do constructive criticism. A healthy and constructive criticism will give you another perspective about your thoughts and actions, which you might find quite positive.

  21. Stop comparison
  22. If every time you are comparing yourself with others you are simply disregarding your strengths, talents and your overall individuality. There is absolutely no point in comparing yourself with others, since each one of us is differently gifted with talent. You must encourage the feeling of absolute comfort being you. Accept and love yourself with your flaws and work on your talents and strengths.

  23. Seek opportunities
  24. Opportunities are everywhere, you just need to be sensitive about what actually you want from life. If you are clear with your vision, you will see opportunities coming your way from all directions, contrarily, if you are living without a vision, even if opportunities are walking along with you, you will remain blind to them. Be sensitive and open towards opportunities and avail them to create maximum possible success. Remember, people will help you only if you want to help yourself.

  25. Seek challenges
  26. Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They're what make the instrument stretch-what make you go beyond the norm.-Cicely Tyson

    Had you not accepted the challenge of getting up from your fall in your childhood, you would not have been walking by now. Come out of your comfort zone and accept challenges which makes you to stretch a bit every time. Not accepting challenge means not exercising your muscles for change.
    Imagine about every challenge you handled in your life and think about the results you got. It is only because of those challenges you are capable enough of reading this post.:-).

Keep going

Just because fate doesn't deal you the right cards, it doesn't mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.- Les Brown
Do not feel disheartened if you find somebody excelling at life and finding yourself struggling, it is your journey and you will go as per your strengths and talents. Keep trying to become better with every day, stay hungry and stay foolish in all your pursuits.
Living the best of potential is not the end of personal growth but in fact a starting point where you actually realize your true power and start living life as a true you.

Happy living the best of your potential.
imageLight Knight

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Seema Bhatnagar
, Blogger, Writer, Life Coach and Founder of Abundance Thinkers, site for personal growth and development. Empowering people in achieving and living the best of personal potential.

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